Competitions bring crowds to beach
Ruakākā Beach was buzzing on Saturday with two surf competitions under way – the Northern Region IRB championships and a Northern Region Junior surf carnival brought around 700 spectators and competitors to the beach.
Ben Kiernan of Ruakākā Surf Life Saving Club says there were more than 500 entries between the two competitions.
"Everyone loves coming to Ruakākā," he said. "There is plenty of space and they can spread out."
Entries came from as far south as Christchurch's New Brighton club and included most of the big Auckland clubs, as well as local clubs Ruakākā and Waipū.
"It's all about getting us on the map," Kiernan said. "And getting the Auckland clubs up here so they see what we can offer."
Many people come up for the weekend, or even the whole week, booking out baches and campgrounds and making a family holiday of it.
"We do tend to take over the whole beach for the day, but the community seems to enjoy it and support us," said Kiernan.
He says it is also a good opportunity for local lifeguards to see this type of competition.
Port Waikato club Sunset Beach gained the most overall points to take out the IRB competition with local, and much smaller, Waipū Surf Life Saving Club placing second.
New ute for Ruakākā Surf Club
Look out for Ruakākā Surf Life Saving at local community events in their new ute, provided by the Toyota Financial Services Lifesavers Foundation and Grassroots Trust.
The club pays $1000 per year for the use of the Toyota Hilux. Club life member Ben Kiernan says the ute is fitted out as a first response unit and has already attended a few incidents in the area.
Lifeguards can use it as transport to training courses and allows the club a visible presence at community events – so far they've been to the Kai Iwi Lakes Open Water swim, the Russell to Paihia Ocean Swim and most recently, the Interislander Festival at Ruakākā Races where lifeguards patrolled the beach, participated in a tug of war with children from the crowd, and collected donations from spectators.
Waipū brings water safety skills to the community
Waipū Surf Life Saving Club members have been busy this month promoting life saving skills and water safety.
Their club fun day on January 3 provided plenty of exercise and entertainment for participants, from running and swimming to sand castle and beauty competitions.
The 52 swimming competitors had a slightly slower race time than last year because of currents but defending champion David Martin triumphed with a time of 41 minutes.
Club member Angela Stolwerk says there were a good number of pub to club runners, and 18 inventive sandcastles were judged by life members Dave and Marilyn Woodman: "That was tough."
Egg throwing, tug of war and other games followed, with the Miss Waipū Cove and Mr Muscles pageant followed by a well-deserved happy hour.
A few days later a group of club members headed north on an education tour to spread the word about water safety.
"We visited unpatrolled beaches in the North where there were drownings last year," said club captain Kath Manning.
"To fund the trip Emma Baker, our Junior Club Captain, entered a community grant competition through AMI, and along with support from BP and Northland Regional Council we were able to make the trip a reality for 11 lifeguards, and four junior surf members."
Subway Dargaville provided them with lunch as the group travelled to Kai Iwi Lakes, Matai Bay, Cable Bay, Taupo Bay and Matapouri Bay over four days.
"We demonstrated different rescue techniques using rescue tubes, boards, and the IRB, as well as CPR and choking and how to spot a rip."
They ran water safety games and obstacle courses for the children.
"We were educating groups on how to keep their children and themselves safe, by knowing their limits, if in doubt staying out," said Manning.
"The message for rips is - no one is stronger than a rip."
If you do get caught in a rip, she says, remember the three Rs - Relax and float, Raise your arm, Ride the rip.
"The tour was rewarding in many ways," said Manning. "It was great to help those rural communities that don't have a surf lifesaving presence, educating holidaymakers about potential risks and how to stay safe, as well as being great development and team building for our lifeguards."
Bream Bay men's cricket in T20 final
Bream Bay men's cricket team faced down Maungakaramea in the reserve grade T20 final last Sunday at Cobham Oval in Whangārei. Bream Bay batted first, making 117 runs with Maungakaramea scoring that for the loss of five wickets.
"Unfortunately Bream Bay didn't get enough runs on the board to put Maungakaramea under pressure," said team captain Bruce Paton.
To make the final, the team won three of four games to be placed second on the table, behind Maungakaramea.
While disappointed to lose, Paton says it is a good result for the team which only won one game last season.
"While we didn't win much last season, our players developed, and we grew as a team," said Paton.
"We were hoping to capitalise on that this year – we have a good squad of players and a really good team spirit."
Bream Bay sports awards
Remember that Bream Bay Sports Awards nominations are due in now – nominations close on January 20. Download a form from www.breambaysportsawards.co.nz and nominate a senior or junior team, individual or someone who provides the backbone of a sports club. The awards will be announced at a dinner on March 1 in Waipu's Celtic Barn.
Waipū street market
Waipū's street market is back, so head down to check out the goods on offer at more than 100 stalls from 9am to 1pm on January27. Organisers promise it will be bigger than ever, running along the main street of Waipū, spilling on to Caledonian Park and into the Celtic Barn. Bring the family down to wander the stalls and eat, shop, mingle and play.
■ Email Julie Paton at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got Bream Bay news to share with Northern Advocate readers.